Obersturmführer ([ˈoːbɐ.ʃtʊʁm.fyːʀɐ], "senior storm leader") was a Nazi Germany paramilitary rank that was used in several Nazi organisations, such as the SA, SS, NSKK and the NSFK. The term is translated as "senior assault (or storm) leader".[2][3]

Gorget patch
SS-Obersturmführer h.svg SS-Obersturmführer-camo.svg
Shoulder and camo insignia
Country Nazi Germany
Service branch Schutzstaffel
National Socialist Motor Corps
National Socialist Flyers Corps
NATO rankOF-1
Next higher rankHauptsturmführer
Next lower rankUntersturmführer
Equivalent ranksOberleutnant (OF-1a)[1]
SS-Obersturmführer Franz Abromeit serving in KZ Mauthausen
Pio Filippani Ronconi in the uniform of a foreign volunteer of the Waffen-SS. He is wearing the collar tabs of the 1st battalion of the Waffen-Grenadier-Brigade der SS (italienische Nr. 1).

The rank of Obersturmführer was first created in 1932 as the result of an expansion of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and the need for an additional rank in the officer corps. Obersturmführer also became an SS rank at that same time.[4]

An SA-Obersturmführer was typically a junior company commander in charge of fifty to a hundred men. Within the SS, the rank of Obersturmführer carried a wider range of occupations including staff aide, Gestapo officer, concentration camp supervisor, and Waffen-SS platoon commander. Within both the SS and SA, the rank of Obersturmführer was considered the equivalent of an Oberleutnant in the German Wehrmacht.[5]

The insignia for Obersturmführer was three silver pips and a silver stripe centered on a uniform collar patch. The rank was senior to an Untersturmführer (or Sturmführer in the SA[2]) and junior to the rank of Hauptsturmführer.[5]


See alsoEdit

Junior Rank
SS rank
Senior Rank
Junior Rank
SA rank
Senior Rank


  1. ^ Die im Bereich der NATO gebräuchliche Abkürzung "OF" steht für "English: officer / French: officier / German: Offizier / Russian: офицер".
  2. ^ a b McNab 2009b, p. 15.
  3. ^ Stein 1984, p. 297.
  4. ^ McNab 2009, pp. 29, 30.
  5. ^ a b Flaherty 2004, p. 148.


  • Flaherty, T. H. (2004) [1988]. The Third Reich: The SS. Time-Life Books, Inc. ISBN 1 84447 073 3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • McNab, Chris (2009). The SS: 1923–1945. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-49-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • McNab, Chris (2009b). The Third Reich. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-51-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Stein, George (1984) [1966]. The Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite Guard at War 1939–1945. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9275-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)